Archive for November 26th, 2014

November 26, 2014

Aquiline Nose

The Invention of the Jewish Nose

native american mascot

An aquiline [ak-wuh-lahynnose (also called a Roman nose or hook nose) is a human nose with a prominent bridge, giving it the appearance of being curved or slightly bent. The term is derived from the Latin word ‘aquilinus’ (‘eagle-like’) an allusion to the curved beak of an eagle. While some have ascribed the aquiline nose to specific ethnic, racial, or geographic groups, and in some cases associated it with other supposed non-physical characteristics (i.e. intelligence, status, personality, etc.), no scientific studies or evidence support any such linkage. As with many phenotypical expressions (i.e. ‘widow’s peak’, eye color, earwax type) it is found in many geographically diverse populations.

The aquiline nose was deemed a distinctive feature of some Native American tribes, members of which often took their names after their own characteristic physical attributes (i.e. The Hook Nose, or Chief Henry Roman Nose). In the depiction of Native Americans, for instance, an aquiline nose is one of the standard traits of the ‘noble warrior’ type. It is so important as a cultural marker, political scientist Renee Ann Cramer argued in ‘Cash, Color, and Colonialism’ (2005), that tribes without such characteristics have found it difficult to receive ‘federal recognition’ from the US government, resulting in failure to win benefits including tax-exempt status, reclamation rights, and (perhaps most significantly) the right to administer and profit from casinos.

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